Designing Routing and Message-Dependent Deadlock Free Networks on Chips
Networks on Chip (NoC) has emerged as the paradigm for designing scalable communication architecture for Systems on Chips (SoCs). Avoiding the conditions that can lead to deadlocks in the network is critical for using NoCs in real designs. Methods that can lead to deadlock-free operation with minimum power and area overhead are important for designing application-specific NoCs. The deadlocks that can occur in NoCs can be broadly categorized into two classes: routing-dependent deadlocks and message-dependent deadlocks. In this work, we present methods to design NoCs that avoid both types of deadlocks. The methods are integrated with the topology synthesis phase of the NoC design flow. We show that by considering the deadlock avoidance issue during topology synthesis, we can obtain a significantly better NoC design than traditional methods, where the deadlock avoidance issue is dealt with separately. Our experiments on several SoC benchmarks show that our proposed scheme provides large reduction in NoC power consumption (an average of 38.5%) and NoC area (an average of 30.7%) when compared to traditional approaches.